2.2 America Perfected

Guiding Question:  Early in the twentieth century and especially following the Great War (WWI), interest in the “quality” of America–and Americans– rose.  What relationships can be drawn between scientific “evidence” and the rise in nativism in the 1920s?  (Be sure you know what “nativism” means.)

Before class:

Everyone READ
this short introduction to the eugenics movement 

–this short explanation of the 1924  Quota Act  .  (You may find this referred to as the Johnson-Reed Act or Immigration Act.)

READ, REPORT, BRING TO CLASS so that you have ready knowledge and ready references.

Team members 1 and 2 and 7: (A) Civic Biology

Team members 3 and 4: (B) Passing of the Great Race

Team member 5 and 6: (C) A Nation of Morons, and Charts D and E

Team member 7 and 8:  Each select an an article and images from the Cold Spring archive.

ACCESS the Cold Spring/ Eugenics site  http://www.eugenicsarchive.org.  “Enter the Archive” along the left side, click “Image Archive.”  Then, Browse/ Time Period/ 1920-1929, where there are over 900 images.

BRING TO CLASS:  All work should have your name and team number at the top of each page, and the pages stapled together.

Print two images or documents from different categories (for example, Better Baby contests, the “Approaching Extinction of the Mayflower Descendants,” or flashcards relating to genetic defects).  This site is a little balky, so be patient with it. The images you bring to class need to be properly identified and stapled, with your name and team number at the top.

Printed answers to the following questions, stapled to your images.  

1. Be able to identify and briefly describe the content of the different types of evidence (images, newspaper clippings, etc.) that you read  on the Cold Spring/ Eugenics site.

2.  Briefly respond to what you read.

3. Respond to team’s discussion about 1920’s interest in eugenics.


a. George William Hunter’s Civic Biology , 1914, excerpt.

b. Madison Grant, from Passing of the Great Race, (New York: Scribner’s and Sons, 1921).

c. Stephen Jay Gould “Nation of Morons, New Scientist (6 May 1982), pp. 349-52.

d. Chart, “Estimate of comparative natural intelligences of the total white and foreign- born population of the United States,” 1922.  This image of a lantern slide will need to be looked at section by section.  Here is a 2-2-est-of-iq     (this doc tends to refuse to stick to the website.  Let me know if you cannot access it) for class that you can use to transfer some of the information onto.

e. Chart, “Relative Social Inadequacy of the Several Nativity Groups and Immigrant Groups of the US”, 1922.

f.   Cold Spring  http://www.eugenicsarchive.org/eugenics/(the archive is on Long Island, New York)

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